David’s Diary from Tokyo – 3-4/08/21


What a fantastic night for the individual showjumping qualifier. The conditions from 7pm were breezy and stable with a WBGT around 26C, an air temperature of around 28C and 80% humidity. But with a good breeze and no sun, these was perfect conditions. The course was excellent and really challenged the horses, but great to see all three GBR riders qualify for tonight. Especially good to see Ben Maher and Explosion W were the fastest qualifier by around 0.5s. Perhaps the biggest shock of the evening was the USA not getting any riders into the final. 30 riders have qualified for tonight, with 25 clear inside the time and 5 clear but with time penalties (4 riders with 1 and 1 with 2). Riders with more than 2 time penalties even if clear missed out. 73 riders started the qualifier. Fence 13A (below) caused the most problems. The fence has an odd ground line, part of a face on the left wing and the poles were silvery and we think that the floodlights were reflecting off them and the horses might see a flash as they approach.

After fence 10, fence 7 created the most problems.

And I finally got to see “Feathers” Danielle Waldman (Goldstein) who is the reserve rider for Israel. I’ll see if I can get a selfie.

Talking of selfies, I managed to snatch one with Ollie Townend’s Ballaghmor Class this afternoon as I did my daily barn temperature and air quality checks.

So apparently this morning I managed to sleep through an earthquake. The magnitude in Tokyo was only around 2 though. When I was here in 2019 for the Test Event I experienced one of magnitude 4, 30 floors up! Interesting to say the least. But please ignore the Daily Express newspaper. No one here is panicking.

As if the odd earthquake isn’t enough to put us on edge, there’s now the threat of a typhoon coming over on the 7th or 8th of August. I fly at 2am on the 8th of August – or maybe I don’t. Currently, this is still classed as a tropical depression but the predicted path is right over Tokyo. But these weather systems are notoriously changeable so I’m not concerned at this stage.

Last night just before the jumping started I climbed to the top of the left stand where the commentary positions are and bumped into Lucinda Green. This is so high and gives an excellent view of the arena and if you look the other way you could just see Mount Fuji.

Today has been very hot with temperatures in the main arena up to 38.9C and official WBGT index of 31C. For this reason the opening of the training facilities has been pushed back from 3pm to 4pm. It will be warmer tonight for the Jumping Individual but still nowhere near as hot as during the day.

If you haven’t seen this yet, please register for my free webinar, Olympics Roundup – Lets go behind the scenes – that I’m doing on Wednesday 11th August once I am back in the UK.  I have so much to share with you and this webinar is open to everyone, not just subscribers of DrDavidMarlin.com so please share it with your friends, to register click here

I hope that you have a chance to watch the jumping today!









About Author

Dr David Marlin is a physiologist and biochemist who has worked in academia, research and professional sport. He has worked in the equestrian and veterinary world and in human sport, healthcare, medicine and exercise science. In 1989 David obtained his PhD from the UK’s leading sports university, Loughborough University following a four-year study on the responses of Thoroughbred racehorses to exercise and training, undertaken at the renowned Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. You can read David's full biography in the Our Website section.